We're off to Flores for a couple of weeks this Sunday, flying in and out of Labuanbajo from Bali. We've got the kids (4 & 6) in tow and aside from either showing them (or feeding them to, depending on behaviour) Komodo Dragons we have a blank slate.
Kanawa has come highly recommended from some friends here and The Twitter, as has Wae Rebo, but aside from that we were thinking of getting a hire car and taking a bit of a poke around -- nothing too arduous -- or perhaps doing a boat trip for a few days. Thinking perhaps a week all up somehow beach related and the remainder on firm ground.
We've never been -- any tips?
Hey there - here are some rough notes for you....
Maumere: Avoid staying in Maumere itself- it's a dump. If you need to, try to stay in a coastal area which may be nicer. I stayed at Gardena in town ( cheap, very basic, very noisy) - and probably not somewhere that you'd want to stay with the family. Can't tell you how many rats we saw running around town at night!
Moni: stayed at Hiyadih Guesthouse. Decent, clean, reasonably priced. Friendly owners. It's on the left as you drive through the village. Obviously you will want to visit Kelimutu Lakes - worthwhile, and will be fine for the kids.
Bajawah: About an hour out of Bajawah there is a hot water waterfall. One cold stream and one hot water stream merge together to make a small waterfall that you can soak in. Worth a visit at the end of the day. Can't remember the name, but it's well known in the area.
Ruteng: I really loved this little town for some reason, and wish we had stayed longer to spend more time exploring. It just a good relaxed vibe about it, and I met lots of genuinely friendly people. If you want some accom with a difference, check out Suster Santa Maria Berdukacita, the local nun convent. It's incredibly beautiful, pristine and very reaonsable at 160,000rp (3 yrs ago) incl breakfast. Wake up to some lovely choir singing in the morning.
Kanawa: Very rustic when I was there - it had an abandoned feel about it, like a ghosttown with tumbleweed blowing through it. We were the only ones staying on the island, and the staff came over on the boat with us. We had to ask to have the water turned on, they ran out of every food item on the menu that we ordered except Fried Rice. Staff were very disinterested. But they had some great snorkelling. I looked at their website awhile ago and it looks like they may have been doing some work to bring it up to standards. I see they are even promoting weddings there now. That's hard to envisage based on our experience there - so will be keen to see what you have to say about it!
Rinca: We organised a small boat for a day trip to Rinca from the same office that got us to Kanawa. The boat picked us up on Kanawa, took us to Rinca for the day then stopped a couple of times for us to snorkle off the boat. A fantastic day out. Boat trip was 700,000 + Rinca entrance fees. I'm sure that you are aware that the dragons walk freely around and you are protected by a guide with a stick. Quite ludricous really! You are often within a few meters of them, so you are obviously going at your own risk. But it's a worth while experience!
Roads are incredibly windy - hairpin curves the whole way. Not so good if your kids are prone to motion sickness. Plan to take it slow, with plenty of stops.
You can read 5-6 posts in the blog that I wrote if you're bothered, incl pics of Kanawa: http://www.travelpod.com/z/lisa_nz/2/1256789936
Enjoy Flores! I'm thinking of going back there when I'm in the area in August - so will be keen to see what exciting things you dig up.
Thanks for the ideas.
What we're looking at at this stage is a couple of days on the beaches around Labuan Bajo then 3 days on Kanawa (we'll visit Rinca from there) then will get a car and thinking (roughly) 2-3 days in Ruteng & surrounds, 2-3 in Bajawa (including heading up to Riung 17 on the north coast), 2-3 in Ende & Moni and then, depending on how many loose days we have left either push on to Maumere, but more likely backtrack to LBJ (we stupidly bought return tix rather than flying out of Maumere).
BUT, there are also a few similar joints to Kanawa, so maybe we'll just check those out instead
Report in due course!
If you're not planning to go further east than Maumere, then doubling back to LBJ is a good idea, esp if you can do it as a loop. I missed out on the northern coast because we travelled one-way.
I didn't mention the other places along the way of interest - stock standard tourist stuff that you probably already know about:
- Traditional villages (Bena and Bela) near Bajawa. I always feel a bit uncomfortable about these village stops, but they were kind of interesting.
- Spiderweb rice fields (between Bajawa and Ruteng)
- Blue-pebble beach (between Bajawa and Ruteng)
That report by Ronald on LP is great. But mind the warning by Davidjo, you will should return a bike at the place where you rented it. If you have solely a week on Flores, that can limit the gap you'll go.
#7 jamesonridley has been a member since 7/2/2013. Posts: 9